Majors & Minors

Goals for the Major

In all language classes the goal is for students to build toward conversing on sophisticated subjects; reading modern fiction, newspapers, journals, and classical language texts; and writing short essays. In literature and culture courses the goal is for students to develop basic familiarity with their country's history and its foundation texts and to deepen their understanding of one or more periods or genres. Students should demonstrate the ability to research, analyze and critique East Asian literature and cultural texts, both in the original and in English translation, and should be able to translate original texts into English.


The only route to honors in the Chinese language and cultures and Japanese language and cultures major is writing a thesis and passing an oral examination. To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all work in the major field above the 100-level; the department may petition on her behalf if her GPA in the major is between 3.0 and 3.5.

Students interested in seeking certification in teaching Chinese or Japanese should speak with the chairs of the EALC department and education department early in their college career.

Transfer Credits

The transfer of credit (either from another American institution or from a language program abroad) is not automatic. A maximum of four units may be transferred. Work at the 300-level must be taken within the department for credit towards the majors in Chinese and Japanese. Students wishing to transfer credit should be advised that a minimum of six units of course work must be completed in the EALC department at Wellesley. Transfer students from other institutions are required to take a placement test administered by the EALC department. It is essential that proof of course content and performance in the form of syllabi, written work, examinations, and grades be presented to the EALC department chair.

Advanced Placement Policies and Language Requirement

A student entering Wellesley must have an Advanced Placement score of 5 or SAT II score of 690 to satisfy the foreign language requirement. AP courses will not be counted toward either major offered by the EALC department. All students who wish to register for a Chinese, Japanese, or Korean class must take the appropriate placement examination. The department reserves the right to place a new student in the language course for which she seems best prepared regardless of her AP or SATII score.

Contact Us

Contact Us

Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Green Hall
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

Eve Zimmerman
Department Chair

Beth Wills
Administrative Assistant

Tel: 781.283.2188
Fax: 781.283.3608



Fudan Student Exchange
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